Posted on Nov 25, 2018
SPC Victor Doydora
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I am 43 prior enlisted heading to BCT/OSUT 11B, Fort Benning, Ga. I am in fairly good shape able to max out my PT scores for 17-21 standards. As a National Guardsman I am wondering what are my options on trying to go to any of the special schools. (Airborne, Air-Assault, Pathfinder, etc). I keep hearing that it will be ultimately up to the needs of my unit but if I score high in my AFPT in BCT I could be selected. Does anyone have any experience in this?
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Responses: 23
COL Dana Hampton
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Is there a chance...yes, but it will be up to your state NG HQs and your unit. Typically, infantry Guard units have an internal OML for the badge finder schools and APFT weighs heavily in the selection. Keep your PT up and make sure your home station unit leaders know you want a slot and be the best Soldier you can be. I went to ABN school in my mid-20’s and was in top shape. The PT is challenging. The daily runs are key. Fall out of one of those (1-step behind the black hat pace man) and you’re done.

I had Soldiers and an Air Force doctor in my stick who were in their 40’s. They all passed. It’s all about mental and physical preparation. You got that and you can do ABN school in your sleep.

Good luck!
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1SG John Furr
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Here's the deal, maintain 270 + on your APFT, hound your chain of command constantly, and be willing to go in a moments notice. Take every opportunity to shine to include Soldier of the Year boards, etc. It gets you noticed. The NG owns the WTC which runs it's own Air Assualt and Pathfinder Course, so the NG gets seats for these; however, there is an order of merit list; just make sure you're at the top of it. Last but not least stay the course, don't give up because it doesn't come right away, I was a SSG with 10 years in before I had most of my scare badges.
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MSG Frank Kapaun
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In the ARNG, it is all bout who you know. I am being serious here. How much is it worth to you to go to airborne school? Keep your APFT up, make a sizable donation to the governor’s political war chest then collect a favor.
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